WW2. Alexander Phillip Price (Phil)
The following pictures are mainly from Phil's private collection. Phil was born in 1918 and after attending Hathern School and Loughborough Grammar School was an apprentice fitter at William Spiers Hosiery Machinery Manufacturer in Leicester before joining the RAF in 1938 and doing initial training at Cranwell. After this he was based at RAF Bomber Command at Scampton near Lincoln until he was killed in action on August 6th 1941 along with his three fellow crew members when shot down by a German night fighter 30 km from Arnhem in Holland.
Late 1920s. Phil, born in 1919, is shown on the far right in second row. Picture 1.15 with full list of pupils is in the school gallery on this website
Phil and friends at tennis court on land between Narrow Lane and Wide Lane
Apprenticeship at William Spiers maker of hosiery machinery in Leicester founded in 1882. The premium is the income received for providing training
Rare picrure of Phil in civvies
Uxbridge was the recruiting station for the RAF in1938. Phil is in middle of second row.It was here that Winston Churchill first said, "Never in the history of mankind has so much been owed by so many to so few", which he repeated in a speech to Parliamen
Proud telegram from Cranwell RAF College Flying Training School near Sleaford on November 17th 1938.This is where Phil would have trained as wireless operator
Relaxing at home in garden of 'The Firs' in Narrow Lane
At home with nephew Robert
Another pic of Sgt. Phillip A. Price at home on leave
From Phil's collection, unknown girl in front of car. Is it main road in reflection in car window ?
Aerial view of Lincoln from Phil's collection. This is less than 10 miles from Phil's base at Scampton. Picture taken maybe March1941 when 106 squadron Hamdens carried out bombing operations over Colgne
Phil (on right) with John Hannah V.C.fellow member of 83 Squadron. See next picture for details of V.C.
Profile of John Hannah V.C.
Tribute to Phil in London Gazette December 24th 1940.Phil has already completed 34 operational flights
Leicester Evening Mail Dec.1940. Award of DFM (Distinguished Flying Medal) to Phil Price and Douglas Doughty both old boys of the Grammar School
Phil with flight crew. Rids to Germany included 'gardening' leaflet drops and 'gardening' (dropping mines into the sea
With flight crew again
Phil under the wing of bomber
From Wikipedia. Ground crew at Scampton loading bombs to Hampden in 1940
Air crews at Scampton 1940. Looks like Phil 3rd from left. From Imperial War Museum (iwm.org.uk)
Leaflet 1 of 2 (front) in Phil's collection (front). See translation below.
Leaflet 1 of 2 in Phil's collection (back).
Leaflet 2 of 2 in Phil's collection (front). See translation below.
Leaflet 2 of 2 in Phil's collection
Hamdens in formation. From Phil's album. On back of photo says 'Hampden X2898' which is plane Phil was flying in August and Sept 1940
Phil in uniform with Air Gunner's badge
Close up of Air Gunner's badge
Phil's Xmas card to parents. Undated. Maybe 1939 when log book says doing formation practise
Wing Commander Guy Gibson of dambuster fame. An early colleague of Phil.
Flight report of crash in Holland. All four crew lost
Tribute to Phil on piece of parachute. From their 'true Dutch friends'. Always displayed in later years in family house in Narrow Lane
August 10th 1941. Sad news that Phil and crew are missing after raid over the Ruhr in Germany
Telegrams to parents firstly to notify Phil missing then on Sept 15th 1941 to confirm Phil has lost his live
Letter of sympathy from Buckingham Palace
'Heroes of the sky' featuring Hampden bomber. Always hung above fireplace at home
Tribute to Phil from Mr. Evans his old headmaster at Hathern School
Gwen Saunders a family friend (and Rachel ?) visiting Phil's gravestone in Holland
Locals pay tribute at graves of aircrew of crashed plane in Holland. This photo was sent to Phil's nephew in 1991 by the person who placed the flowers fifty years earlier
Loughborough Roll of Honour. including letter from Officer Commanding the Squadron
Phil's log book which you can see here in full contains all training and operational flights made as Observer and Air Gunner as part of 83(B) Squadron based at Scampton near Lincoln and flying the Handley Page Hampden bomber.
From February 1939 Phil started training and by April was practising low and high level bombing and air firing. Flights to and from other RAF bases continued during 1939 followed in 1940 by an attachment in Lossiemouth. Live sorties started in mid-1940 each taking about 5-6 hours and including nightflights. Targets included Frankfurt. Hamburg and the river Elbe. Following a rest period Phil spent some time on base as an instructor but resumed flying in August leading to the final entry dated August 5th, with an annotation in log book 'Failed to return'. Phil was one of 55,573 men who died flying with Bomber Command during WW2.
Amongst Phil's collection shown above were two of the leaflets that the RAF dropped over Europe in the psychological warfare campaign. The newspaper report also shown above mentions that Phil was involved in this activity. Fortunately there is a site psywar.org that contains details of all such leaflets including the translation from German. Below are the links to the two leaflets, the first of which refers to three of the most famous German U-boat Commanders including Gunther Prien 'The Bull of Scapa Flow' :-
Finally, amongst Phil's collection there are two letters home than contain more than a little of the gallows humour that you would expect from youngsters involved in such a dangerous occupation. In the first letter Phil regrets missing the excitement of Boston being bombed and reports that 'the kites have just returned and we are crossing more names off the living list'. However after German bombers had attacked the base he was looking forward to some refreshment in the Leagate Inn down the road now a popular base for tourists wanting to explore ‘Bomber County’. In the second letter seemingly sent just before his penultimate flight (to Kiel) Phil enquires about the beer situation in Loughborough and comments that 'The Soviet are still keeping the Hun away'. As a post script to his letter Phil says 'I am still short of socks'.
The International Bomber Command Centre is near Lincoln and its Wall of Names contains all its servicemen who lost their life. Its database online also contains details of these men including Sgt. Alexander Phillip Price, D.F.M. which shows that his last flight was to Mannheim.